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Alumni Ambassador Elvira Vainio: Your major subject does not have to define your future path

”It is never too late to study more and try new things – I am a good example of that! I studied logistics, but in the working life I realized that I’m more interested in both business and human resources, and so I ended up doing what I do today”, says our alumna Elvira Vainio, who worked as a HRD manager at Veikkaus from 2017 to 2019.

Currently, Vainio is working as a coach at FAB Monday, a company founded by her (2020).
School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elvira Vainio

When and what did you study at Aalto University School of Business?

I studied logistics at the School of Business during the years 1997–2001. As my minor, I completed the ITP program (Information Technology Program).

In which positions have you worked after graduation?

I went to Accenture to do my Master’s thesis and spent there altogether 10 years after that. As a consultant, I planned change management processes for companies and supported them in finding and experimenting new methods. The work as a consultant taught me to question the common practices and gave me tools to consider new solutions, and helped me facilitate and coordinate big changes.

Since I wanted to support the change in the companies in the long run and to observe it from the point of view of a customer, I moved to work at Posti. There I worked in different HR development tasks and supported the change from the HR’s point of view. The human aspect in the business context is interesting because the change will most likely fail to succeed if the employees are not fully involved in it. Posti is transforming from a distribution and logistics company into a service company, which creates new service functions and aims to new markets.

Now I work as a HRD manager at Veikkaus and my responsibilities include the development of company culture and strategic competence. The situation at Veikkaus is very intriguing, as it was formed in 2017 as a merger of three previously existing betting and gambling agencies of Veikkaus, Fintoto and Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY).

Your major subject does not have to define your future path!

School of Business Alumni Ambassador Elvira Vainio

Your advice for the students who reflect on their studies?

Do not go with the flow, and do not think about which are the most popular subjects to study. Rather, study the things that truly interest you! Nowadays you can re-educate in a different field, so do not worry if you are unsure about your interests.

It is never too late to study more and try new things – I am a good example of that! I studied logistics, but in the working life I realized that I’m more interested in both business and human resources, and so I ended up doing what I do today. Your major subject does not have to define your future path!

At the School of Business, people work hard to build collaboration between the students and companies. You should take an advantage of this and get to know the working life already during your studies. Only by trying, you’ll know what are your own interests.

Thoughts on the current issues and challenges in the business world?

The changes in the working life, skill demands and the disappearing of certain professions are all effects of technology and digitalization. Work that can be digitalized will probably be digitalized, but certain tasks requiring innovative problem-solving, social skills, flexibility and collaboration skills are harder to replace with digital solutions.

Digitalization enables working remotely, anywhere and anytime. The flip side of this freedom is that you have to be more conscious of the balance between work and private life. In the future, people will work more as entrepreneurs, freelancers and sell their own services through digital platforms. In addition, you rarely retire from your first job.

Many students worry about finding their first job in the field. Do you have any advice for them?

Getting the first job is the hardest. Try to benefit from the opportunities Aalto University has to offer: new recruiting-related, Aalto-wide fairs (on 31 October 2019; follow the news on aalto.fi), networking events, student projects and company excursions.

I also encourage you to apply for the Aalto University Mentoring Program. I have acted as a mentor in the program, where each mentor has their own mentee, a student with whom we discuss about their dreams and goals. As a mentor, I support the student for example in developing working life skills. The goals can also be related to finding one’s career path or applying for the first job.

Further information:

Currently, Vainio is working as a coach at FAB Monday, a company founded by her (2020).

Get to know Elvira Vainio’s career path more closely on LinkedIn!

Read more about the School of Business alumni cooperation and about the other Alumni Ambassadors who, like Elvira Vainio, are involved in developing the School’s alumni activities: aalto.fi/school-of-business/school-of-business-alumni-ambassadors.

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